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Sunday, March 26, 2017

SLICE #26- WHEN A FRIEND IS HOMELESS

I haven't seen David since he moved out around the first of the year.
(I wrote about him here, and you might remember it, if you have been reading my blog).

And I've missed him. I've missed seeing him on his bike, with its rainbow lit pedals.

I've missed coming home to find him working on surprise yard projects.

I've missed his checking in to see if I'm okay, and his "I got you, baby."

He finally rode by last night. Actually, he came to see his buddy, Kenny, who lives in his mother's garage, two houses north of me. I was walking my dog, and saw him out in the alley.

"How are you doing?" I asked.

"Not bad, for someone homeless," he said.

"Homeless? I thought you had an apartment at Colorado and 17th."

"I was staying with someone, and it didn't work out, she kicked me out. I've been homeless for about a month now. You got a room? I can pay rent. I can pay $500 or $600 a month."

"I don't have a room, David. Both the boys are still there. I don't have an extra room. I wish I did." I'm actually not sure that would be a smart thing, given David's ongoing issues with alcohol, but he is a friend, and I hate knowing that he's homeless.

"You know anyone who has a room? I can pay $500 or $600 a month."

I try to think of someone who might have a room. I don't know anyone.

"So where are you staying right now?"

"Mostly downtown."

I think he must mean the Denver Rescue Mission. "You mean at the shelter?"

"Yeah. You gotta be tough, baby. You gotta be tough. I'll get through this."

"You will," I say. "You will."

I know he lived with his mother for many years in the house on the corner. "Where's your mom?"

"She's in assisted living out in Aurora."

"And you can't stay with her?"

"Nah," he says.

There were a lot of other people who seemed to come and go from the house. I wonder where all of them have gone. "What about all of those other people?"

"Nah," he says. "I don't want to go around them. None of them have places."

He tries one more time. "What about your garage? We could clean out your garage and I could live there. I could pay you."

This conversation is breaking my heart. "You don't want to live in my garage, David. There's no heat, and no bathroom. And it will get really hot in summer."

"I got my name on some waiting lists," he says. "About six right now. I want to have my name on twenty lists. But they are anywhere from a few weeks to three years."

"I'll keep thinking," I say, running once again through every connected I might have for someone who is homeless.

By now, the dog is getting antsy. "I gotta go," I say.

"I'll come by and see you," he says. "Maybe I can do some work in your yard."

"Yeah," I say. "I need to do some serious yard work this week. Come by and help me."

"I will," he says. "I'll come this week."

"You can leave your mower and stuff in my yard if you want."

I turn and walk away.

I hate knowing my friend is homeless.

3 comments:

Diane Anderson said...

Very sad.

Linda B said...

Oh Carol, there seem to be so many here in our city. I'm sorry for your friend.

Katie Kraushaar said...

Wow, what a tough situation. I like the way you wrote this. Even though you didn't give a lot of details about David, I could tell a lot about him by his dialogue and his interaction with you.